RBS Six Nations 2012: Wales Player Ratings v Italy

15. Leigh Halfpenny – 7

Racked up 11 points with the boot in what was a very good performance until a second-half sin-binning. Perhaps a touch naïve when clumsily tackling the airborne Sergio Parisse, and it’s clear no malice was intended, but yellow card was deserved.

14. Alex Cuthbert – 8

Very strong performance from a winger who has grown as the tournament has progressed. His strong running display was capped off with a fine try.

13. Jon Davies – 8

Wales’ lynchpin in the backs. Still improving small areas of his game, but his ability to turnover ball, beat defenders and launch attacks has made him one of the team’s most important players this tournament.

12. Jamie Roberts – 7

Good display by the Cardiff centre, showing up well for someone who spent most of the build-up recovering from injury. While Wales normally turn to Roberts to find quick ball he was regularly used as a decoy, either through passing back inside or as a dummy runner, and often to good effect. Took his try very well.

11. George North – 7

A powerful early break looked like a sign of things to come, but the towering wing was largely kept in check by a strong Italian defence.

10. Rhys Priestland – 6

The perfect chance to recover from a shaky performance against England, but the Scarlets fly-half failed to take it. Mixed up the game well in the face of a solid Italian backline, but punctuated his game with errors.

9. Mike Phillips – 7

A good game from the scrum-half, who marshalled his pack well, but occasionally looked to do too much when little was on. Needs to improve patience but class was clear.

1. Gethin Jenkins – 7

Did well in his first game as captain in this championship, recovering from an early scrum penalty to be part of a dominant Welsh set-piece.

2. Matthew Rees – 6

Wales line-out woes were largely forgotten as Rees made his return from injury. Was subbed in the second-half but should retain place.

3. Adam Jones – 7

Another strong display from the tighthead prop, who looks take part in one of the key battles in next week’s Grand Slam decider against France.

4. Alun Wyn Jones – 6

Difficult for the lock to really impress in a match where Wales dominated possession, but it was still another tireless effort. Several early penalties against Wales as they failed to clear out rucks will not have pleased the lock.

5. Ian Evans – 7

Played a key role in Wales’ much improved line-out and made his presence felt in the loose, winning two turnovers to help the cause.

6. Dan Lydiate – 7

Another one of Wales’ top performers in the tournament. Though Wales were not required to be as stoic in defence as they were against England, Lydiate still led his team in tackles and is a fearsome competitor.

7. Justin Tipuric – 8.5

The injury to Sam Warburton gave the Ospreys flanker the chance to show why he is so highly rated and he duly responded. An ever-present support runner, Tipuric doesn’t offer the same breakdown threat as Warburton but he covers a lot of ground and his excellent work-rate ensured he was a menace to the Italians throughout.

8. Toby Faletau – 8

Dynamic, assured, athletic – it’s easy to see why Faletau has been taken into the hearts of a nation. Has arguably been the best number 8 in the competition so far.


The full complement was used, with Luke Charteris and Rhys Webb deserving special mention. Charteris continued where he left off during the World Cup, while Webb may just be the first scrum-half to win a turnover with their very first touch in international rugby.

by Tom James

13 thoughts on “RBS Six Nations 2012: Wales Player Ratings v Italy

  1. Ratings are fair but all a point too high. I’m sure the players themselves will admit they were off the boil, they need to get their heads in gear if they are to beat France who will be playing with nothing to lose and could bring off a surprise

  2. I think they seem a bit high in general. With that high ratings accross the park you would have expected Italy to have taken more of a spanking. Also it wasn’t Gethin’s first game as captain.

  3. Tipuric was excellent. As well as general work his handling skills were fantastic – did you see that one handed catch behind his back, all done while stepping in from the touchline? Fantastic. Wales have a number 7 selection battle to look forward to for the next few years.

    I can’t understand how Halfpenny’s yellow was deserved. His main crime seems to be not being able to jump as high as Parisse. He went for the ball and clattered Parisse. If Parisse had not taken the ball would he have been due a yellow card as well for clattering into Halfpenny? Ridicolous decision.

  4. Were you drunk when you did these ratings? Compare that performance to the world cup ones and Wales appear to have taken three steps back. The lowest score Ive seen you give has been a 6. Even players who barely get into the game such as Cutherbert etc consistently get above 7. Think you need to be a bit more realistic with the ratings.
    If I was a Welsh fan I’d be nervous about the match on saturday against a wounded French side.

    1. “Even players who barely get into the game such as Cutherbert etc consistently get above 7” – Cuthbert was Man Of The Match. He was man of the match because he was constantly getting his hands on the ball, carrying over the gain line, making tackles. Were you drunk when you wrote this criticism?

      I am a Welsh fan and while nervous about Saturday (who wouldn’t be? It’s a Slam decider) I am ecstatic to be here with four wins from four before the final weekend. We have it all in our own hands to go ahead and win this thing. Exciting times.

    2. Nervous only because it’s a Grand Slam match. If France play like they did on Saturday i am very confident, but unfortunatley it’s France and impossible to make a prediction

  5. I were you watching a different game, if wales play like that agains France. I think they will come unstuck although it hurts me to say that.
    Matthew Rees first game back, line out was poor can’t afford to over throw and miss your jumpers at this standard, which he did on several occasions. There is no room for sentiment here, she have one goal to beat France.

  6. A MOM award doesn’t always mean that the best player received it. I’m a fan of Wales and the rugby they play. Always have been, but some people just need to come down to earth. This welsh team has gone from under dogs to everyone expecting them to win every game. Wales aren’t unbeatable (they technically lost to ireland if not for a bad call) but unless Rhys Priestland and Roberts find some form, its going to be a struggle. Especially when wales will win nothing against probably the best lineout in the six nations in france. Its going to be pretty even in the scrums and at the breakdown. Whether wales get the grandslam will be decided by who’s backs come out firing first. I must admit, if wales can seal the grandslam again, that will be some acheivement. Especially when you look at how much the team has changed.

    1. “everyone expecting them to win every game” – Come to Wales this weekend and you will find many, many of us far from certain of winning. We hope we win, we think we have a great chance and we think we have one of the best and most exiciting teams around, but we do not just expect to win. Who exactly do you want to come down to earth? The British media who are feting the English win in Paris as if it is the 2nd coming? John Inverdale who has billed the Eng v Ire game as “the grand finale” given England are still “in with a shout” of winning the title?

      There is no lack of solid grounding amongst Wales fans – we know what’s coming and we know we need to play ten times better to win it. However, we know we can do that so that is where the excitement comes from. We are excited, we are expectant, but we are not assuming victory.

      “they technically lost to ireland if not for a bad call” – there were a few bad calls in that game that put us into the situation of behind on the board in the first place. I disagree that it all came down to that penalty decision against Ferris. We should have had the game out of sight by then anyway.

      If Roberts is off form we will bring on Scott Williams, one of the most exciting young centres in rugby today. For the lineout we can now call back Charteris and Wyn Jones, one of the best 2nd row pairs in the World Cup. I disagree we will not win any lineout … Rees had a bad game on Saturday, his first game for Wales for nearly a year. He’ll have ironed out the kinks now hopefully.

      I agree with the rest of your assessment which mirrors most people’s in Wales – we have a good chance of winning this, we are a strong team but so are France. The English media seem intent on painting us as one eyed Taffs who think Wales will trounce everyone, but the reality is far from that.

  7. I really like the above comment from Brighty! We Welsh are grounded beyond belief, each game is tense and nerve racking! I also agree that the press is all over England in an obscene way, which even this forum is gulity of. A review of the Italy game still not on here and it was the first game of the weekend, yet the England game was up nearlly instantly. HMmm anyway, great weekend of Rugby to come, and good luck to all Home Countries!

    1. I think we should be quietly confident – glass half full scenerio. France have not played well this tournament, Wales have dropped off a little in the last two games but have the ability (i hope ) to turn it on. A little worried that certain players think they can steam roll teams and they will roll over, need to regenerate some flair as well and we will be ok come Saturday, would not re-mortgage my house but i have a little faith in this Welsh Team and belief

  8. England played well against France,no doubting they deserved the win, but how easy did Morgan get past first line of defenders for fodens try.
    Somethings will never change and media England are the main cause for the anti english jibes. Doesnt help with the Leicester lips comments all the time either.

    Wales seem to be getting portraid as arogant when in fact winning breads confidence. no Welsh player is shouting his Sorry Ireland

  9. The media is going over the top about england. Still young with plenty to learn. I don’t really think we’ll see what either teams are made of until the southern teams arrive. The six nations is just a taster as far as I’m concerned. I hope wales win the grandslam, they’re the only team that deserves to win it at the moment. If they do I’ll be very jealous of anyone in cardiff. Anyone see the next world cup as a corker with the talent coming through for the home nations like north, tuilagi and denton. Of course we’ll have the lions before that.

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